The in-form hosts after their dominating 2-0 win over the proteas will now lock horns against the visitors in the shortest format of the game. The 3-match T20I series is set to begin this Thursday with the 2nd T20I to be played on Feb 13th and the last one on Feb 14th.
Pakistan is currently ranked 4th in the ICC T20I ranking and a series win here could see them replace Team India at third place. On the other side, South Africa, who are placed 5th have an opportunity to overtake their opponents-Pakistan in the rankings.
Pakistan will be confident coming into the series after their thumping white-wash in the test series. South Africa on the other side have decided to play a second-string team for the T20I series. Without the likes of Quinton de Kock, Faf du Plessis, and their spearhead pacers it would be interesting to see how the team plays the strong line-up of Pakistan.
The last time the teams clashed in a bilateral T20I series was back in 2019, when the Men in Green toured the African Country. The series though was sealed in favor of the home team, 2-1. The Pakistanis would be hoping they can seek reprisal this time around.
Can South Africa put aside their loss and bounce back? Or will the Pakistan team led by Babar Azam dominate the white-ball contest as well?
Match Toss Time: 17:30 Local (18:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 18:00 Local (18:30 IST)
Match Venue: Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
The conditions are excellent for cricket as the skies are expected to be clear throughout the day. The temperature is expected to be hovering in the 16-12 degree Celsius and the humidity at the peak is likely to touch the 79 percent mark.
The strip in Gaddafi stadium is known to be an ideal wicket for batting. The last International match at this venue was played almost a year ago and the match did see the home team chase down the target of 137 rather easily. With the average score at the venue being 160, the team batting first should be looking to score around the 170 mark.
The team winning the toss should be looking to chase down as the dew factor is expected to come into play. The records too suggest that the teams chasing have tasted higher success rates at this venue.
After a successful outing in the Test series in which Babar Azam became only the 5th Pakistan captain to win the debut test series. The 26-year old will be hoping he can continue this winning run. He is likely to be joined by the T20 specialists- Hussian Talat, Haris Rauf, and Mohammad Hasnain.
The rest of the squad will look the same as the one featured in the test series with the exceptions being Yasir Shah and Abid Ali, who will be missing out.
South Africa on the other side will be without their key players- Skipper Quinton De Kock, Faf du Plessis, Kagiso Rabada, Lungi Ngidi, and Rassie van der Dusse. The players will not be taking part as they have traveled back to the country for the preparations for the test series against Australia.
In the absence of Quinton de Kock, the leadership role is handed over to the wicket-keeper Batsman Heinrich Klaasen and to be joined by experienced players which include the likes of David Miller, Tabraiz Shamsi, and Reeza Hendricks.
Probable Playing Xl
Pakistan (PAK): Babar Azam (c), Khushdil Shah, Haider Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammed Rizwan (wk), Hussain Talat, Haris Rauf, Shaheen Afridi, Hasan Ali/Mohammad Hasnain, Usman Qadir
South Africa (RSA): Reeza Hendricks, Janemann Malan, Heinrich Klaasen (c & wk), David Miller, George Linde, JJ Smuts, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo, Lutho Sipamla, Junior Dala, Tabraiz Shamshi
PAK vs RSA Fantasy Team
Heinrich Klaasen, Mohammed Rizwan,Reeza Hendricks, Babar Azam, Haider Ali, George Linde, Andile Phehlukwayo, Faheem Ashraf, Tabraiz Shamshi, Shaheen Afridi, Mohammad Hasnain
Captain Picks: Heinrich Klaasen (RSA), Faheem Ashraf (PAK)
Vice-captain Picks: Babar Azam (PAK), George Linde (RSA)
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